International Politics

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 474–499 | Cite as

Historicizing Transition: The Polish Political Economy in a Period of Global Structural Change — Eastern Central Europe's Passive Revolution?

  • Stuart Shields


This paper develops a critical international political economy analysis of the processes that we commonly understand as globalization and their application in the development of Poland's transition from state socialism. It does so by tracing the rise of social forces shaped by the restructuring of social relations of production and the form of state in Poland. The paper argues that a series of important social shifts occurred to move Poland towards a neoliberal strategy of capitalist accumulation with the failure of state-socialism as a development project and the uncoupling of the social basis of Communist Party hegemony. It is social forces most intimately associated with transnational capital, irrespective of their party or social position, that are most successful in the struggle over competing reform strategies. These strategies eventually coalesce through material and ideological changes associated with a new openness to transnationalized circuits of capital.


Poland post-communist transition international political economy state-socialism transnational capital neoliberalism 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart Shields
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for International Politics, School of Social Sciences, University of ManchesterManchesterUK

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